David Griffiths eyeing Dubai trip with Abbaye fourth Duke Of Firenze

Tue 3 Oct 2017

Duke Of Firenze could have a spell in Dubai during the winter as reward for his fine effort in the Prix de l'Abbaye at Chantilly on Sunday.

The eight-year-old outran his odds of 80-1 to finish fourth behind the brilliant Battaash in the Group One dash on what was his 11th race of the campaign, bettering his sixth place 12 months earlier.

Trainer David Griffiths concedes the options for the rest of 2017 are few and far between, and the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is only a long-shot.

"It was a great run, amazing. I was delighted with him," he said.

"Battaash was very good, but he was only a length behind proven Group One winners like Marsha, so I was chuffed to bits.

"He's spot on. He got back yesterday afternoon. He's eaten up and all's fine.

"We're struggling finding races for him. There's not much, if anything, for him over here. There's a very outside chance we might send him to America for the Breeders' Cup. It's only a possibility at best.

"There is Dubai next year. He could go there in February for a couple of races. There's a handicap and a Group Two he could run in and then come back home after that. That would be the long-term plan.

"I think the track would suit him over there and the quick ground as well."

Take Cover is set to skip an engagement at Ascot on Saturday and wait for the Al Basti Equiworld Mercury Stakes at Dundalk on October 20.

Griffiths has all but ruled out a run in the Hope And Homes For Children Rous Stakes at the Berkshire course this weekend because of the likelihood of soft ground.

The Bawtry handler is thinking more of taking his admirable sprinter across the Irish Sea for the Listed contest he won in 2015.

The 10-year-old has belied his age with a series of classy performances this season that has seen him win the Beverley Bullet and Newbury's Dubai International Airport World Trophy on his last two starts.

"He probably won't go to Ascot. It looks like the ground has gone against us now," said Griffiths.

"He may well go to Dundalk for the Mercury Stakes that he won two years ago.

"He's in good form. He's come out of Newbury really well."

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